The Department of Sanskrit Studies, University of Hyderabad (UoH) conducted a weeklong workshop on Sanskrit learning with the financial support of Indic Academy from 8 – 14 May, 2019. This was the third in the series, which has been held every year, with the purpose of familiarizing Sanskrit as both a language and as a key to unearth the treasury of Indic Knowledge Systems. Apart from language learning, the focal theme was ‘Upavedas’ – Āyurveda, Gāndharvaveda, Arthaśāstra and Sthāpatyaveda. Everyday, the sessions were distributed such that, there was equal provision for learning to speak Sanskrit, comprehend Sanskrit texts, and also become aware of the vast amount of technical knowledge in the form of the Upavedas.
The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. Sarat Jyotsna Rani, Dean, School of Humanities, in the presence of Prof. Amba Kulkarni (Head of the Department) and Prof. JSR Prasad. Prof. Sarat Jyotsna Rani emphasised on the inclusive nature of samskṛtam and samskṛti in her inaugural speech. The participants included faculty and students from UoH, as well as other professionals and students from outside the university.
Renowned experts in various fields, within and out Hyderabad were invited to enlighten the participants through their lectures. Notably were Dr Anand Joshi, Sunshine Hospitals, who spoke on ‘The Rationale behind Traditional Lifestyle Practices’, Prof Shashirekha, Osmania University, who spoke on ‘Glimpses of Science in Arthaśāstra’, Prof Vinod Vidwans, Flame University, Pune, who delivered an elaborate talk on ‘Artificial Intelligence and Indian Music’, Prof Rani Sadasiva Murty, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetham, Tirupati, who gave an insightful lecture on ‘An Overview of Sthāpatyaveda and its Current Implications’, Dr CSR Prabhu, Retd Director General NIC, who lectured on the ‘Therapeutic Aspects of Yoga’, Prof Nagaraj Paturi, Director, Indic Academy, who gave two engaging talks on ‘Sanskrit as a Linguistic Unifier’ and ‘Contemporary Applications of Upavedas’, and lastly Dr Aravinda Rao IPS, Retd. DGP (United AP), who spoke on ‘Statecraft as Illustrated in the Rāmāyaṇa’. Dr Anupama Ryali interacted with the participants regarding the need for Sanskrit and gave them an introduction to the Upavedas. Prof JSR Prasad from the department enlightened the participants on ‘Āyurveda and Dietetics’, while Dr Vinaya from IIIT, and an alumnus of the department, delivered talks on ‘Tridosha Theory in Āyurveda’ and ‘Health Tips for Summer’. Prof Amba Kulkarni presented a deeply insightful session on ‘Vedic Recitation and Agnicayana’, while Prof Shamanna, School of Medical Sciences, Spoke on ‘Lifestyle Disorders and Āyurveda’. Spoken Sanskrit was taught on a daily basis by Ms Deepthishree from Samskrita Bharati. Research scholars from the department, Sanjeev Panchal, Brijesh Kumar Mishra, Sanal Vikram, Mridula Aswin, Abirlal Gangopadhyay and Malay Maity conducted regular text reading sessions as well as gave talks on specific topics from the Upavedas. The valedictory session shone with the presence of eminent Sanskritist and Vedānta expert, Dr Aravinda Rao IPS, who was happy with the proceedings of the workshop, and handed out certificates to the participants. On the whole, the workshop stood out for its novel theme, diverse backgrounds of the participants, and the high level of interaction that took place.